Cheering Volunteering

Essential pieces of kit from power tools to gloves have been purchased by our Bedfordshire reserves team thanks to a grant from Central Bedfordshire Council. These will be put to very good use by our invaluable volunteers on work parties

A grant of £840 from Central Bedfordshire Council has enabled the purchase of new equipment which has allowed the Bedfordshire reserves team to better equip their fantastic groups of volunteers when out on regular work parties, doing amazing work helping look after the 25 nature reserves across Bedfordshire.

All this new equipment - three brushcutter harnesses, shove holers (used for digging holes for fence posts), fencing pliers, chisels, mallets, a chisel sharpener and 15 pairs of gloves - means that more volunteers can learn brushcutting skills and fencing installation.

Volunteer work parties

These give people from all walks of life the opportunity to be outdoors doing practical work on nature reserves, making a real difference at the Trust's nature reserves in Bedfordshire - particularly at the larger reserves - Blow’s Downs (Dunstable), Totternhoe and Pegsdon, where there is more work to do.

More than 40 volunteers live in central Bedfordshire, ranging in age from students to those in their 80s. Some come to keep fit and active in retirement, some to get work experience (perhaps during temporary periods of unemployment), some to give back to the community, some to improve their mental health and some just to get out of the house and meet others. They have the opportunity learn a wealth of new skills from experienced Trust staff who supervise the sessions. Work parties (generally held three days a week) are sociable occasions also - tea is brewed on a portable stove, biscuits and cakes are shared along with plenty of opportunities to chat and compare notes.

Volunteer tasks involve controlling brambles and thorny scrub that encroaches on grassland, keeping paths clear, pulling ragwort from meadows (harmful to grazing animals) and many other tasks. Those keen to do so receive training in the safe use of a brush cutter, a skill that they can take with them to future employment.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic all volunteering is currently on hold - however . . .

volunteers are vital to us, so if you are interested in volunteering in the future, please do explore our opportunities and find out more about what we do